Kaleidescope Eyes

When you look at the picture on the Left, what do you see first? Do you see the young lady or the old lady? Whether you realise it or not at first, there is indeed a young lady AND an old lady in the picture. To see the second image you need to actively look for it. You have to let the original image go to see the second one come through.

This picture is a well known optical illusion.  I found it in a book I am reading called ‘The 7 Habits of Highly effectual people’ it’s a book that along with ‘Awaken The Giant Within’ I will not read fully. I will not be a highly effectual awakened giant, I am very much a disorganised small person. I am happy to be so in all honesty, I like things to flow, while I love to learn I have to learn my lesson in my own time. Hence me reading this book, while I won’t read it fully, I have picked up tips already.

In the book the author talks about perception and his first lesson to instill upon us wannabe effectuals is to throw our perception of things wide open. think outside the box. Don’t just read this book he says, study this book as if you are going to teach it to someone, that way you’ll process it differently.  He makes a good point about perception.

Perception is a powerful thing. Our perceptions are learnt from experiences. He gives a few examples of situations where the initial perception of a situation is thrown wide open by a simple sentence that turns it on it’s head. One is where a guy comes into a busy subway carriage with two noisy fighting and screaming children and sits, seemingly oblivious to their riotous behavior. The whole carriage shoots the guy dirty looks until one of them eventually says to him, ‘Hey Sir, can you please look after your kids’. The guy then says, he’s just come from the hospital where his wife has died and he’s not sure what to do. Immediately the whole carriage changes its perception of the two little boys, who have just lost their mother. It’s an extreme example I know but it shows how our perception of a situation can change in a split second. I’m sure you can think of many occasions where you’ve looked at something and thought it would play out a certain way. While the odds roll in the favour of the boys being naughty and the father ‘lazy’ life has many surprises in store for us. Just as some of us see the old woman, and some the young woman, although we are both looking at the same picture, we’re seeing different things.

Do you ever truly look at something with your eyes wide open, and are able to watch the scene change before you like a kaleidescope?  How long does it take you to accept there are two women in the above picture? It’s the same picture with two different outcomes. Are you looking for the surprise and are you ready to accept it? How tied to your initial assumption of things are you? Are you a fixed thinker or are you mutable thinker? So many questions!!

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